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New bill would increase funds for early childhood education
It is estimated that 75-percent of young Americans are educationally ineligible to serve in the military. But a bill introduced in the legislature Monday, would allow for millions of dollars to be transferred to a fund to help educate the younger generation.
"Joining us today are three generals from Nebraska who are deeply concerned that the military services are now out of reach for so many young Nebraskans."
New data released by mission readiness shows 1 in 6 Nebraska high school graduates who try to join the military cannot do well enough on the military's test of math and literacy skills to be able to serve.
"It's extremely important to catch children early, and early education development is critical particularly from the ages of birth to 3," said Senator John Harms.
Scottsbluff Senator John Harms introduced legislation Monday that would appropriate $10 million from the state general fund for the next 2 years for the Early Childhood Education Endowment Cash Fund.
"This legislation is fiscally responsible, it's prudent because it gives a tremendous investment in our children and and future of our economy," Harms said.
LB 190 had the support of three retired military generals, who say they are concerned that military service is out of reach for many young Nebraskans.
"It's a vital importance to Nebraska because our own Nebraska Army and Air National Guard recruits from a pool that may not be qualified to serve," said Ret. Brig. General Paul Cohen.
The evidence behind that was released in a new Nebraska report that showed 15 percent of young Nebraskans who did not graduate and then tried to join the Army scored too low on the military's entrance exam.
Under Senator Harm's bill, the money would be used to expand high quality early childhood services to at least 2200 more infant and toddlers across Nebraska who are at risk of failing in school.
"I understand the importance of providing children with an early educational foundation," said Harms.
"We recognize it as a national security issue and a state security issue as well," said Cohen.
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